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Between Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy

The last decade had shown that philosophers became more aware of the importance of finding an adequate methodology of philosophy. This is partly reflected in the growing number of works, which aim taking into consideration the tension between what seems to be excluding alternatives approaches towards this problem. Thus, there are debates over adequacy, limits, and applications of formal and informal methods, naturalism and anti-naturalism, experimental and armchair philosophy. Importantly, this resulted not merely in vivid metaphilosophical debates over competitive approaches towards methods of philosophy, but also in the development of new approaches towards particular ‘old’ philosophical questions. Hence, one notices a growing number of formal analyses of the key philosophical notions of truth, belief, existence, imagination, or modality, as well as a growing number of experimental researches. Others argue that blindly applied formal methods can result in oversimplifying the subject of philosophical investigation and that the application of experimental methods in philosophy results in changing the ‘love of wisdom’ into the ‘love of surveys.’ Finally, others put into question the very idea that there is only one correct method of doing philosophy.

In virtue of the variety of possible approaches towards the question of philosophical methods, we would like to discuss this question during a workshop. We invite submissions for a 40-minute presentation (this includes a time for a discussion) linked to the question of methods of philosophy. Examples of relevant themes include (but are not limited to):

  • conceptual engineering,
  • formal/informal methods in philosophy,
  • naturalism/anti-naturalism in philosophy,
  • experimental/armchair philosophy,
  • the paradox of analysis,
  • inference to the best explanation,
  • methods of particular philosophical disciplines.

Keynote Speakers:
Sven Ove Hansson (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm)
Hannes Leitgeb (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Stephen Neale (The City University of New York)

The workshop shall take place on the 20th and the 21st of September 2021.

THE PROGRAM OF THE WORKSHOP [PDF] (16 IX 2021, updates possible, contains hyperlinks to abstracts)

Maciej Sendłak (Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw)
Paweł Grabarczyk (Institute of Philosophy, University of Łódź & IT Copenhagen)
Tadeusz Ciecierski (Institute of philosophy, University of Warsaw)

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